The Dark Tower Synopsis: The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.
Tagline: There are other worlds than these.
Release Date: Aug 24th, 2017 | Runtime: 1 hr 35 min | Coolthulhus Earned: 5
The Dark Tower Review
I’m surprised at how much I enjoyed The Dark Tower. I should have remembered that I normally love film adaptations of Stephen King’s works. I think I let the fact that I’ve been paying a bit more attention to movie reviews and stuff lately lower my expectations unfairly. The Dark Tower was a fun movie that I really enjoyed.
To clarify the lens through which I viewed the movie: I read the first (and only the first) The Dark Tower book. I remembered ‘gunslinger’ ‘man in black’ and a moderate amount of trippiness. I remember thinking that I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would, given that it’s a Stephen King book. There might have been a mental note to try to pick up the second one in the series at some point as well. But, that’s it. So, when I watched the movie, I wasn’t comparing it against the book so I could do mental screams about what they changed and whatnot.
The casting for The Dark Tower was on point. I was happy to hear that they cast an African American to play Roland. It was an easy changeup (at least I think Roland was white in the book??) that made absolutely no difference to the story line. Yet, what it does do is give young African American men a positive example of an on-screen presence that doesn’t feed into stereotypes. I’d be saying something completely different if they’d cast an African American male to play The Man in Black. So, good choice!
Idris Elba, the aforementioned actor, who I can’t really say offhand has starred in anything I was a big fan of, had me rooting for him almost instantly. The man pulls off The Gunslinger very, very well in The Dark Tower. He was cool, calm, tortured, and good. The fight scene in the village where he’s, er, not at his best was believable through nothing more than his acting I believe. One of my favorite scenes involving him is where he just smiles, though. He smiles at one of the other characters and communicates so much goodness and happiness with that smile that you can’t help but smile back at him.
I’m not a huge Matthew McConaughey fan (his voice drives me nuts), but I laughed the moment he appeared on screen in this movie. He plays a taller version of Christopher Walken. The haircut, the outfit, etc. It was like he was channeling Walken in all aspects. That, combined with the unrelenting evil of a man named Walter, made his presence actually enjoyable for once.
Tom Taylor, who plays Jake, was the least memorable, but his acting was solid nonetheless. Give him a few years and we might be very surprised.
The sets, cinematography, etc, were all decent. It was definitely the characters that took center stage (as it should be). There was a little bit of cheese in the dialogue with Roland and Jake, but they didn’t go as overboard as they could have, so I’m willing to let it slide.
The Dark Tower hooked me almost immediately. I was practically sitting on my hands to keep from swiping at the air at parts. It’s a fun popcorn flick. However, that’s really all it is. Unlike other King adaptations that have a strong rewatchability factor, The Dark Tower feels like a one time show. Not that I’m not interested in checking out the potential television series, mind you. I just can’t see buying this one to watch again in the future.